I was stressed out, obviously. Some meeting had gone badly or our stats weren’t good enough. The guy I was talking to had been a professional gambler before getting into startups (less volatile, he said). He told me something that stuck:
> You’re gonna go crazy if you count your stack every day.
What he meant is that a day isn’t enough time to see a real correlation between what you’re doing and the results you’re getting. There’s too much variance. You can play well and do poorly, or vice versa. If you look at the results too often, you’re eventually going to let the outliers talk you out of playing the way you know you ought to play.
Let’s say you get slaughtered in an investment pitch. Maybe your company sucks, or maybe the investor was having a bad day or is just a grump. Results like this can spook you. But one meeting isn’t enough to know. Better to emotionally file away the results and review them after a couple weeks when you’ve got a bit more data to work with.
You can get fooled by the positive outliers, too. Finding one incredibly enthusiastic customer does not necessarily imply that you’ve nailed it (though it’s certainly a step in the right direction).
You want to tally your winnings (and losses) every so often, of course. That’s how we learn. In the poker world, that was every week or two. Just maybe give yourself permission not to get so stressed out by the ups and downs in between.